This is a subject that I think all of us would like to master. It is surprising how well people actually think that they get along with others. The Bible teaches us “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:18 ESV) Now I don’t know about you, but it seems like an awful lot of people in my life frequently end up in the “if possible” category! In my head “if possible=not possible” too often and I have to remind myself that the next part of the verse says “so far as it depends on you”. This can be a cop out for us sometimes because it is easier to throw our hands up and declare our own righteousness and innocence in relationships with “I tried” rather than investing in the hard work of examining our hearts. In our quest to be more like Christ, let us remember that: “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:23 ESV) Maybe one of the biggest obstacles in getting along with others is a lack of trust in “him who judges justly” and a refusal to surrender our rights, what do you think?
I came across this gem of ten helpful maxims for getting along with others from Dr. John Gerstner’s “The Early Writings.
1. Thou shalt not magnify the faults of others and all the while minimize thine own
2. Thou shalt minimize the virtues of others and magnify thine own
3. Thou shalt not insinuate sordid motives to anther’s acts
4. Thou shalt not judge by appearances
5. Thou shalt not lose a chance to laugh
6. Thou shalt not indulge personal antipathies
7. Thou shalt not try to “get even”
8. Thou shalt not gossip
9. Thou shalt not hold a grudge
10. Thou shalt not expect to get along with all of the people all of the time
Overlook the King James English and post this on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, and on the driver’s sun-visor!
by Jeff Keeney